Tag Archives: seattle

Seattle Restaurant Week 2013: Lunch at the Steelhead Diner

Seattle Restaurant Week ran this fall from October 13th-17th and the 20th-24th. I went out twice the first week, once for lunch and once for dinner, and one time for dinner during the second week. If you don’t know, restaurant week gives you the opportunity to have a 3 course lunch or dinner (respectively $15 or $28) at a number of Seattle/Bellevue/etc. area restaurants. It’s a great chance to try a new, high-quality restaurant for a very reasonable price. The last thing that I cannot stress enough about restaurant week is that YOU NEED RESERVATIONS. Even for lunch. There may be certain restaurants where you do not, but if you have your heart set on going somewhere, check it at least a week in advance. Many of them allow you to reserve Via Yelp/OpenTable which I’ve had no problems with and which is my favorite way to reserve.

All 3 that I visited had great options for all the courses and very generous portions. But first, I’m going to talk about the Steelhead Diner. First, the menu. There were 3 options for each of the 3 courses, and I chose the tater tots, the pasta, and the pear crisp bar. I do kind of regret not choosing the sandwich for the second course, because it sounded really interesting and the pasta was such a large portion that, while delicious, it was impossible for me to finish.

The restaurant itself is located right over from the Pike Place Market which makes parking obnoxious, but which makes for a pretty view if you have a window seat.

20131029-100624.jpg

 

We were given bread and herbed butter to start.

herbed butter

 

bread

 

The crab and shrimp tater tots came with a great celery leaf salad garnish and a pretty good sauce, considering I am not an “add sauce to everything” kind of person. Also, note the adorable plates that go with the fly fishing theme.

tater tots

 

The next course for me was the pasta, which was a trenne with mushrooms, cheese, and roasted cauliflower. As I mentioned, the portion was huge so I couldn’t finish it, but it was a very good pasta dish.

pasta

 

The absolute BEST part of this meal was the pear crisp. But while we waited for dessert, I had my friend try to get some sneaky decor pictures of the flies in the glass case next to where we were seated.

fly!\

all the flies

 

And now for the dessert! As I mentioned, it was a pear crisp with hazelnut streusel and vanilla icing. It also had the best whipped cream I’ve ever tried, which was so thick and flavorful that it tasted like vanilla ice cream.

dessert!

 

Overall, I would definitely go back to the Steelhead Diner.

right by the market

 

Restaurant Week returns Spring 2014, and if you have the opportunity, go for it!

Post and photos by: Melissa

 

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Bite of Seattle 2013 & Olympic Sculpture Park, plus some Chihuly

This weekend is the bite of Seattle. Naturally this means I’m quite excited and had to partake in the festivities. Twice. Once on Friday and once on Saturday. I highly recommend going to the Bite of Seattle, or any other “bite” type activity you have in your area, as it’s a great way to enjoy a variety of foods from the area at a reasonable price. In my case I went to “the alley“, which is the event’s largest fundraiser, donating the money to Food Lifeline, a local charity. The menu is different on all 3 days, so I posted a link to it above (“the alley” link) but I’ll explain as I show you the food below. But first, the Space Needle. You can also see the fountain spraying water below the Space Needle, which is a fun attraction especially for children as they try to run away before they get wet.

needle and fountain

Friday:

friday food

From the yellow rice, clockwise, and then the middle:

Far-Eats: Tender chicken morsels simmered in an aromatic sauce with herbs & spices then slowly baked with basmati rice until flavors blend
Dahlia Lounge: Ginger pork salad with blueberries, mint and chilies
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
Purple Cafe: Summer Quinoa Salad
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Yippie-Pie-Yay: Peach-Bourbon Hand Pie
Belltown Pub: Chicken & Seafood Gumbo

I really liked everything, except for the Belltown Pub’s gumbo. However, if you like extremely smoky flavors, you might have liked it. My favorite was the Dahlia Lounge’s ginger pork – it was amazing. Another favorite was the wonton from Din Tai Fung. Fortunately, the wonton was served on both days that I visited.

Saturday:

saturday foods

From the bun, clockwise:

Local 360: Root beer glazed pork belly
Palace Kitchen: Slow cooked brisket, blueberry BBQ, sweet corn pudding & blueberry pickles
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
PinkaBella Cupcakes: Root beer float cupcake
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Shanik: Roasted spiced eggplant, squash & tomatoes with crispy wheat flatbread
Salty’s on Alki: Fresh Oregon BayShrimp Cocktail with marinated local vegetable slaw finished with a house-made cocktail

The brisket was amazing, (and of course blueberries are my favorite food) and the shrimp cocktail and spiced veggies on flatbread were respectively fresh and nicely seasoned. The root beer float cupcake was delicious, though very heavy on the frosting, to the point that it fell over in my corn. But it was still good!

After we left the bite we walked around the area, and ended up at the Olympic sculpture park where there were a few interesting pieces that I hadn’t seen before, and a few I think I just haven’t taken a close look at before. We also wandered by a new Chihuly piece which was visible from the walkway. They reminded me of Dr. Suess flowers.

Metal tree!

metal tree!

Eyeball chair! As demonstrated by lady with stroller.

eyeball chair

The infamous naked fountain, though the other figure is obscured by water.

fountain

I’m told that this sculpture is fashioned after an old-timey eraser with a brush on the end. I thought it was some kind of sea creature…

eraser art

Temporary art installation:

the roofroofing

And the flowers.

dr suess

fun times in suessland

Post and photos by: Melissa


Shopping in Ballard & Hale’s Ales (+ Cupcake Royale and Majestic Bay Theater)

Near the end of my time visiting home I went to Ballard with my mom. You will have already seen some of the things we did, but here’s the last post from that time period!

Ballard! We parked near here

My mom and I planned on going to The Hobbit at the Majestic Bay Theater in Ballard. This is a small (though 3-story) locally owned theater which has nice, big screens, comfy seats, and no annoying ads at the beginning of the showings (which I appreciated). We had a lot of time (though not too much) before the movie, so we went to a few of the shops around the area and I took pictures at one, which was called Lucca.
They had some really cute things that I thought I would share here, although I can hardly summarize the number of things in the store. This is just a sampling.

Then I thought I would share the two interior nighttime pictures I took of the theater.

And, while we split a cupcake we didn’t eat it right away. But we did buy it before dinner, right next door to the theater at Cupcake Royale which was luckily open till 10 pm!

We split this one:

Then we finished the night at Hale’s Ales.

We ordered the fish & chips to split. The fries are under the fish.

Then we each ordered a beer, my mom got 2 of the 5-oz tasters whereas I just got a pint of one kind. We did each try all 3 beers though. First, the drink menu:

So here are the beers we tried:

El Jefe

El Jefe and Kolsch

And I’m 90% sure that the last one was the “visiting” Double Mountain India Red Ale.

We all preferred the two tasters, but I thought El Jefe was alright as well. Just not my favorite. As far as beer goes, though, I liked all of these and my favorite was the Kolsch. Which isn’t seasonal, so I guess that’s a good thing. Overall we had a good time in Ballard and I’d definitely come back to Hale’s. We sat in the bar and everything was great; it might be fun to come here just for drinks sometime.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Macarons at Fresh Flours & Golden Gardens (Beach) Park

mushrooms! delightful

Ever-searching on our quest for macarons, my mom and I stopped by a bakery in Ballard called Fresh Flours. They had many delicious-looking baked goods.

assorted baked goods

 

more goods

 

the macarons! 6 flavors

 

the menu overhead

 

christmas goods 50% off

 

Don’t be alarmed by the Christmas sweets, it was much closer to Christmas when this visit occurred/pictures were taken so these were not super old cookies. They were still fresh and delicious, they had just not been sold yet.

We brought along a box of 5 to Golden Gardens and ate them there on a bench.

macaron box

Speaking of Golden Gardens, it was lovely! I’d only been here once before in the summer, and while I do prefer it then, it was not horribly cold and was still pretty to walk along near the end of December.

so many seagulls

 

boat

 

beach

 

So many footprints in the sand! This is a popular spot.

 

sand!

 

sunshine-y day

 

trees and beach

 

sometimes there are seals

 

This little bench area was pretty cute.

 

artwork by children

 

seahorses

 

other creatures

 

 

 

docks of boats

 

strip of rocks

 

the beach from the pier

 

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Portage Bay Cafe (Brunch) & Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks

I went to Ballard recently(ish) to get brunch with my mom at Portage Bay Cafe and generally just walk around and see the area, while I was home for the holidays. We’ll start with the brunch (which was amazing) and move onto the Ballard Locks which I don’t recall ever visiting before this.

Portage bay French toast - Grains

Eggs to the end of page one

1/2 of menu back

2/2 of menu back

this is one of the walls

My mom and I both decided on egg dishes, though she was tempted by the French Toast. We wanted the toast and potatoes that came with the egg dishes.

I got the chicken sausage scramble, with sundried tomato + chicken sausage, red pepper pesto, roasted fennel, shiitake mushrooms and manchego cheese. It was so good and full of different flavors. It was a little bit spicy because of the sausage and a little bit salty and sweet because of the pesto, mushrooms, and cheese. So GOOD. i also liked the potatoes, though I did salt and pepper them a bit.

chicken sausage scramble

My mom got the Italian omelette, with fennel-spiked Italian sausage, fresh basil, Ladysmith cheese, tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms. She really liked it also and her potatoes are hiding under her toast.

mom's plate

After brunch we headed to the Ballard locks which were almost literally just around the corner. Just click on the name there for some background information, provided by those who I’m sure would do a better job than I. Essentially the locks modify/regulate water levels to allow ships safe passage between Puget Sound and Lake Union/Lake Washington. There’s also a fish ladder with a viewing area to allow spectators to stare at the fish.

The sign for the Locks

welcome!

Time for some garden shots.

welcome to the nursery

words about the garden (sorry for quality)

nice little garden-y place

the gate

we welcome you

garden plants

cool plant stuff

Back to the fish/locks/ladder/etc.

Going with the flow

the water comes from above

and comes out down below

Hiram himself

and a reproduction

that's quite a pickle

so many fish

now for the fish ladder

but wait, there's art!

the noble salmon must be recognized

and finally a chart of the fish

These last two pictures were taken indoors, in the horrible lighting of the fish ladder area. The last one was even more horrible because it was backlit. Sorry. We did see a few (about 3-4) small Steelhead while in the viewing area, but it wouldn’t have turned out on film. All the more incentive for you to visit in one of the busier months! 🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Pike Place: A day in Seattle

My family decided to go downtown Seattle to complete some Christmas shopping and generally do some walking and looking around. It was fun and a nice welcome-back-to-Seattle/Washington activity. Be warned: LONG POST.

The first shop we stopped in was Cicada, which was so pretty. It’s a bridal store in downtown Seattle. We noticed the dresses and had to pop in and look around. Although we made it clear we were just looking, the salespeople were very friendly and told us that the prices listed on the tags (tucked inside the dress) include alterations, which prices at bridal shops typically do not. Also, FYI, they’re having a 40% off sale on their 2012 sample dresses for December. Here’s one of my favorite dresses…

gorgeous wedding dress

After that we headed down to the market and a few of our favorite standard shops with their own separate storefronts. I thought I’d add in a few of the stores and restaurants we didn’t stop in as well, just to give a general picture of the area. One of these is Crepe de France, which looked delicious…

Crepe de France

crepe de france menu

One of the places I always recall when I think about Pike Place Market is The Great Wind-Up. For some reason I can’t open the website on Google Chrome when I try… but maybe you’ll have better luck. Essentially it’s a shop full of wind-up toys & gag gifts and it’s completely adorable. The space is small, but not an inch is wasted. They even have a testing area for kids (or really anyone) to try out the toys.

View from across the hall

Tah-dah! Such a cute shop

Mr. Bacon toy

Stick-on Mood Mustaches

toy testing area

toys to test!

Me with the Christmas pig and my rain jacket

Friendly flying squid

Here’s the Mt. Townsend Creamery. We didn’t go in but it looked great!

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Of course we had to stop and watch the Pike Place Fish Co. guys toss around some crabs.

Pike Place Fish Co

delicious fresh seafood

I didn’t catch the sign fully (it was a blurry picture) BUT apparently Pike Place Fish Co. has the only 100% sustainable seafood in the Market. Here’s Don and Joe’s Meats.

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We stopped by Market Galbee at the market and I got a skewer of sausage and my parents got an assorted skewer of food. I wish I had been hungrier so we could’ve gotten some good Korean food and bubble tea! Maybe next time.

Market Galbee

festive menu

food case

Lowell’s Restaurant advertised cocktails and looked like a fun place to get a drink. I liked their slogan: Almost Classy Since 1957.

Lowell's

We also saw the Pike Place Bakery.

pike place bakery

looks good

yum

Also, a cute shirt! And a crab apron!

Cute shirt

apron!

And a lavender goat. 🙂

and a lavender goat

Some sad social-commentary-type graffiti.

clever graffiti

We managed to get a glimpse of the Ferris wheel from a park, even though it was a cloudy day. We also saw it later at night, all lit up! Sorry about the quality especially of the nighttime pictures. We were trying to get home after a long day of being cold.

Victor Steinbrueck Park

the Ferris wheel!

and a bit closer

woo

Ferris wheel

side view

We stopped into Bavarian Meats, a German specialty shop. So many good things in this place.
Especially sausage samples.

Bavarian Meats

marzipan pigs and pretzels

We picked out a Christmas Soda for me, and my mom got one of those from the top row, which
we think is a German lemonade.

special drinks

Meats and cheeses! We picked up some of each.

lots of meat

sausages

cheeses

and desserts!

Then we headed into Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery. The only place we went with a line out the door! It smelled amazing as we walked by, so we couldn’t pass it up.

Piroshky Piroshky

yum!

so amazing

piroshky~

We had to go to Le Panier (French Bakery) as well. We picked up some macarons, bread, and pastries. But no pictures! Sorry!

Le Panier French Bakery

We went around the market a bit more after and came across Pike Place Pigs. Pigs are kind of a big deal around Seattle but for the life of me I can’t remember why. Anyway, they’re everywhere.

pike place pigs

pigs!

We also went to Free People to pick up some things (yay I love them) but there are no pictures of that. Then we went to Japanese Gourmet Restaurant, and at this point my fingers were freezing so it was a good reprieve from the cold, and gave me a chance to warm my fingers up so I could take a few more pictures after we got out. We were there for Happy Hour, so we ordered a variety of food.

menu front

happy hour menu

gyoza

tempura plate

garlic beef short ribs

sesame scallops

While walking back to the car (yay parking garages) I had to stop and take a few pictures of the market all lit up.

Christmas tree~

Public Market~

I hope you enjoyed reading about my family Christmastime outing and thanks for sticking with me!

Photos by: Melissa
Post by: Melissa


Walking around Seattle!

Here, as promised, are the “other” pictures I took.

We went to a park along the waterfront, as well as on a general walk through the area near the Space Needle and the Pacific Science Center. Also, there are some bonus pictures of an exhibit in a nearby gallery about the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 (just a few!)

Here’s the space needle:

And here is the view from the park of the Seattle PI building:

And the water:

Here’s the nearby glass exhibit (what we could see from the outside), (Chihuly):

Here is one wall of the EMP (experience music project):

Here are the bonus pictures of the exhibit:

And! I will end with something (I thought was) funny:

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa